Sgt. Slaughter Tells The Tale Of Roddy Piper Being Stabbed By A Fan

On some occasions, wrestlers have less to fear from their in-ring opponents and face more danger from the general public. In a "Sportskeeda Wrestling" interview, Sgt. Slaughter recalled a genuine life-and-death struggle involving Roddy Piper in the early 1980s.

"We were in Raleigh, North Carolina, and back then we were all our protection," Slaughter recalled. "We protected each other — there wasn't any police" serving as dedicated security for the event as they often do today. Piper and Slaughter were standing off-camera watching Ivan Koloff wrestle a match when they saw that a man near a hallway concession stand was beating a little girl. Piper told Slaughter "I don't like that" and took off to stop the man's assault on the child.

Slaughter stated that Piper separated the child from the man, and after he was sure she was no longer in danger he chased after her assailant. Slaughter ran after Piper and found him pinning the man down when two police officers came to arrest the abuser. But Piper wanted to talk to the man after he was arrested, and Slaughter noticed a knife on the ground that had blood on its handle. "I just folded it and held it for quite a while in my hand to give it to the police officer," he said. "So while we're watching them interrogate the guy, Roddy kept asking the main police officer, 'Can I just talk to the guy?'" The officer declined but Piper kept asking. The officer finally asked why Piper was so insistent in conversing with the man.

Less Than An Inch Away From Dying

"And Roddy took his thumb off his chest and said, 'Because he stabbed me,'" Slaughter said. "And the blood hit the officer right between the eyes three times with each heartbeat before we realized what was going on." Slaughter put his hand on Piper's chest to compress the injury while Piper kept insisting that he be allowed to talk to his attacker. When the police refused his request, Slaughter was joined by fellow wrestler Don Kernodle, who took them to a local hospital.

In the hospital, a doctor showed Slaughter the depth of the stab wound and added that "with another quarter of an inch, he'd be dead right now." But the doctor also added "'he's okay, I'm gonna stitch him up. Get him home — I'm gonna get a prescription for him.'" When Slaughter arrived home from Raleigh, he prepared to go to sleep but realized that he brought an unintended reminder of the incident with him. "As most men do, I started emptying out my pockets," he said. "And while this is going on, I had that knife in my hand — and because I had to help Roddy, I stuck it in my pocket. I never thought about it or gave it to the police officer."

Slaughter ran downstairs to his kitchen and put the knife in a "little baggie, rolled it up and put it on top of a closet shelf and said, 'I'll take care of it.'" But, once again, the knife slipped his mind and he didn't think about it again until he moved to Connecticut for his WWE work. "I'm packing stuff out of my closet and there's the knife," he said. "I still have it." Piper ultimately passed away from cardiac arrest in 2015 at the age of 61.